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All IPCC definitions taken from Climate Change 2007: The Physical Science Basis. Working Group I Contribution to the Fourth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, Annex I, Glossary, pp. 941-954. Cambridge University Press.

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10th run of Denial101x starts on July 10!

Posted on 5 July 2018 by BaerbelW

The next iteration of our free online course, Making Sense of Climate Science Denial, starts on July 10 and it will be the 10th run since the very first one in April 2015. Since then, more than 35,000 students from over 180 countries have registered for our MOOC which has been running either as a 7 weeks long paced or a longer running self-paced version like the upcoming one.

Our MOOC (Massive Open Online Course) is a collaboration between Skeptical Science and The University of Queensland and takes an interdisciplinary look at climate science denial. We explain the psychological drivers of denial, debunk many of the most common myths about climate change and explore the scientific research into how to respond to climate misinformation. With all the misinformation and outright lies coming out of Washington regarding climate science - not to mention many other topics in this age of fake news - our MOOC will give you the knowledge to spot and the tools to effectively counter them.

A poster about Denial101x has been presented at various conferences and you can glean at least a rough idea about our MOOC's content from it (click the image for a larger version or download the poster as a PDF-file, but with 26MB it's fairly large):


We've received some wonderful feedback from students who've taken the course, particularly teachers who are using our course videos in their classes. Pat Bowden wrote a neat review about Denial101x for her blog in November 2017 and Corinne Esteryn spent a lot of time and effort to create very detailed course notes. Corinne also shared this feedback about Denial101x with us when she took it:

"This was the 1st MOOC I ever took and though I took many since, it remains my favorite. So many valuable information, from so many field experts, from all around the world, so much editing work in the videos, to make them as short as possible, yet packed with all the essential & accessible information. So many references. Such an outstanding amount of work, dedication, and all quite methodic and serious. Thank you to all the team for this great experience and all the knowledge shared!"

Here is a video compilation of some feedback from students:

You can sign up for free via the edX website.

Hope to see you there!

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Comments 1 to 4:

  1. "Occam's razor (also Ockham's razor or Ocham's razor; Latin: lex parsimoniae "law of parsimony") is the problem-solving principle that the simplest solution tends to be the right one. When presented with competing hypotheses to solve a problem, one should select the solution with the fewest assumptions. The idea is attributed to William of Ockham (c. 1287–1347), who was an English Franciscan friar, scholastic philosopher, and theologian."

    Let's apply this to understanding climate denialism. Many things are correctly "implicated" in climate denialism:

    1) Everyone has at least some healthy scepticism of new scientific findings, but with some people the scepticism becomes absurd and stubborn, they don't learn or won't learn, and the end point is they resort to  conspiracy theory ideation.

    2) People who have vested interests in fossil fuel companies or other businesses who could be impacted by reduced use of fossil fuels, so they perhaps deny the science as a strategy.

    3) You have political, ideological and tribal influences who resent carbon taxes and similar  government solutions,  so they attack the science.

    4) Dunning Kruger, confirmation bias.

    Yet if you look at the common factor here, its stupidity, and often deliberate stupidity, because its educated people who are often in denial.

    So the fundamental cause of climate denialism is stupidity.

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  2. Breaking news: Scott Pruitt resigns from EPA. One less denialist in a position of power.

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  3. What are the amount of students that actually have completed the course? I have done the course and completed it and I noticed that the people starting the course where a lot more than those completing it. Which is a whole lot more important than the people who started it. 

    The course btw was awesome and I learned what I wanted to learn from it.

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  4. aemilius89 @3

    Thanks for your feedback - happy to read that you liked our MOOC!

    I don't have a defnite answer to your question but at a guess, Denial101x is fareing as well (or bad!) as many other MOOCs where the average completion rate is just a fairly low percentage of around 5% according to various articles a quick Google-search brings up. It also depends on how you define "complete" as it's quite possible for students to work through the material like watching the videos or reading forum threads while never really leaving a trace as far as surveys, quizzes or other activities counting towards completing a course goes. Even participants who just poke around a bit, watch some of the videos or read some of the materials will - hopefully - learn something, which is also important as far as I'm concerned.

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